Fire prevention program kicks off to reduce home fires, inform Kern County residents

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A fire prevention and mitigation program aimed at reducing the risk and eliminating the threat of home fires returns during National Fire Prevention Week to prepare communities across Kern County.

The "Team Firestopper" program was developed by the American Red Cross.

The program hosted a press conference Wednesday where Pacific Gas & Electric Company awarded funding to the Central Valley Region of the American Red Cross to continue the Team Firestopper program.

The Red Cross revealed its strategic plan to prevent home fires in neighborhoods with typically high incidences of fire.

Over the next six months Team Firestopper volunteers will be canvassing over 23,000 homes distributing lifesaving fire safety information and hosting six Fire Safety Fairs in at-risk communities, which will provide 300 Central Valley families with a free smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, surge protector and fire extinguisher. 

Team Firestopper will also expand its services by providing free hour-long community fire prevention training in English and Spanish to groups across the Valley, and distributing over 1,000 smoke detectors to participants.

Red Cross launches Kid Firestopper, a fire prevention curriculum that will partner with local organizations such as the California Teaching Fellows Foundation to educate over 8,000 Valley youth in fire prevention.

"There are simple steps that everyone can take to protect their home and family from fire," said Alex Villa, Regional Community Preparedness Manager. "Team Firestopper will reach out to Valley residents unlike never before to share this information with people in communities that are disproportionately affected by fires"

Team Firestopper kicks off its third season Saturday by coveringover 2,500 homes in Oildale.


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